John Phelan, president of Munich Reinsurance Company of Canada (MROC), will take over as head of the global company’s U.S. unit, American Re. The move is a result of the decision of current American Re president and CEO Edward J. Noonan to step down, a decision some media sources are linking to the company’s huge exposure to the World Trade Center terrorist attacks. The Associated Press is reporting that Noonan’s decision follows the September 11 events, as well as “the U.S. economic downturn and a series of catastrophes”. The wire service adds that Noonan wants to step down in order to let someone else try to effect a turnaround. For Phelan, the new assignment comes after almost 30 years with the company, where he now serves as president, and also president of the Temple Insurance Company and chief agent of non-life business for Munich Re in Canada. He will assume the new post at American Re on March 31. Succeeding Phelan at MROC is Kenneth B. Irvin. Irvin, who has been with the company for more than 20 years, is currently CFO with responsibility for finance, investments, actuarial and claims.